Starkville ranked first in Class 6A, overall in first Mississippi high school football poll of 2020

 

Starkville running back Amariyon Howard gets tackled while running the ball against West Point on Friday in Starkville. Howard scored two touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets won 40-28. Starkville was ranked first in Class 6A and the state of Mississippi on Wednesday.

Starkville running back Amariyon Howard gets tackled while running the ball against West Point on Friday in Starkville. Howard scored two touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets won 40-28. Starkville was ranked first in Class 6A and the state of Mississippi on Wednesday. Photo by: Antranik Tavitian/Dispatch file photo

 

Theo DeRosa

 

 

Starkville High School earned top billing in the first Associated Press Mississippi high school football poll of the 2020 season, released Wednesday.

 

The Yellow Jackets were ranked as the best prep football team in the state and were unanimously picked as the top team in MHSAA Class 6A.

 

Nine Mississippi media outlets, including The Commercial Dispatch, were polled on the top five teams in each class and the top 10 overall.

 

 

Starkville earned all nine first-place votes in Class 6A and eight in the overall rankings.

 

The Jackets beat West Point 40-28 in last week's season opener in Starkville after reaching the Class 6A north half championship game.

 

The Green Wave, despite the loss, was ranked first in Class 5A and fourth overall.

 

On Friday, Starkville (1-0) will play at Louisville (1-0), the No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A.

 

In other polls

 

-- Noxubee County (1-0) was second in Wednesday's Class 3A rankings. The Tigers beat Shannon 39-0 in Week 1. Defending champion Jefferson Davis County (1-0), which beat Noxubee County 25-15 in last year's Class 3A championship game, was first with six first-place votes. The Tigers had one first-place vote. Columbia, Magee and Houston rounded out the top five, with the former two schools receiving one first-place vote apiece. Noxubee County will travel to Class 2A Philadelphia (1-0) on Friday.

 

-- Heritage Academy (2-1) was the fourth-ranked team among private schools. The Patriots beat Magnolia Heights 35-21 last week after a win over Kirk Academy on Aug. 28 and a loss to Jackson Prep on Aug. 21. Madison-Ridgeland Academy (six first-place votes) was the top-ranked private school team and No. 9 in the overall rankings. Jackson Prep was second, Greenville St. Joseph was third, and Leake Academy was fifth. Heritage Academy will play at Caledonia (0-1) on Friday.

 

Here's the ballot Theo DeRosa submitted for The Dispatch:

 

Overall top 10

 

1. Starkville (1-0)

 

2. West Point (0-1)

 

3. South Panola (1-0)

 

4. Lafayette (1-0)

 

5. Oxford (1-0)

 

6. Oak Grove (1-0)

 

7. Madison-Ridgeland Academy (1-0)

 

8. Madison Central (1-0)

 

9. Picayune (1-0)

 

10. Corinth (1-0)

 

Class 1A

 

1. Nanih Waiya (1-0)

 

2. Noxapater (0-1)

 

3. Lumberton (0-1)

 

4. Biggersville (1-0)

 

5. Baldwyn (0-0)

 

Class 2A

 

1. Taylorsville (0-0)

 

2. North Side (0-0)

 

3. Scott Central (1-0)

 

4. East Webster (1-0)

 

5. Enterprise Clarke (1-0)

 

Class 3A

 

1. Noxubee County (1-0)

 

2. Columbia (1-0)

 

3. Jefferson Davis County (1-0)

 

4. Magee (1-0)

 

5. Choctaw County (1-0)

 

Class 4A

 

1. Corinth (1-0)

 

2. Louisville (1-0)

 

3. West Lauderdale (1-0)

 

4. Poplarville (0-1)

 

5. Newton County (1-0)

 

Class 5A

 

1. West Point (0-1)

 

2. Lafayette (1-0)

 

3. Picayune (1-0)

 

4. Neshoba Central (1-0)

 

5. West Jones (1-0)

 

Class 6A

 

1. Starkville (1-0)

 

2. South Panola (1-0)

 

3. Oxford (1-0)

 

4. Oak Grove (1-0)

 

5. Madison Central (1-0)

 

Private schools

 

1. Madison-Ridgeland Academy (3-0)

 

2. Jackson Prep (2-0)

 

3. Greenville St. Joseph (3-0)

 

4. Leake Academy (3-0)

 

5. Heritage Academy (2-1)

 

 

Theo DeRosa reports on high school sports and Mississippi State softball for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.

 

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